New “Favorite Things” item: The Halo Skull Cap; Yesterday’s ride.
I’ve always blindly (when you finish reading the rest of the sentence you’ll realize that was a hilarious pun) accepted that during physical activity sweat will get in my eyes and, when I’m outside, all over my sunglasses. Over the years I sort of became used to the uncomfortable feeling of sweat stinging my eyes and obscuring my vision during sports and outdoor activities.
Recently I shaved my head. The first time I went mountain biking with my freshly shorn dome I was shocked by the endless rivers of sweat pouring over my face and into my eyes. With no hair on my melon to absorb some of the sweat, the vision problem went from annoying to unsafe: it was affecting my ability to see the trail.
So in one of my daily blogs I was lamenting the unfortunate side-effect of having a shaved head, and JSF member and fellow mountain biker “craigstr” suggested that I pick up a Halo skull cap. At around 15 bucks the skull caps are very inexpensive, and the reviews on Amazon are unanimously glowing. I ordered one with high hopes.
Yesterday I rode for the first time wearing the skull cap, and I can honestly say this little device is probably the best bang for the buck upgrade I’ve ever made.
First of all, the skull cap is very comfortable and it fits perfectly. I ordered the version with the back ties (there are also caps without the ties), as I figured the ties would allow me to get the best fit. Plus the ties look cool. While I was riding I literally could not tell I was wearing it. Well, except for one thing…
… sweat was no longer running down my face. Like, none. I could not believe it. It was very hot and humid yesterday, and I was riding hard. I was drenched in sweat, but my face remained dry. Not one single drop of sweat entered my eyes, and when I completed my ride my sunglasses were still clean! Normally my sunglasses are stained with salt and sweat to such a degree that I have to clean them several times during a ride, and also before driving home.
When I completed my ride, I removed the skull cap and wrung it out on the ground. I was astonished by how much liquid this lightweight cap was able to hold. The manufacturer says the cap is made from “DriLine microfiber polyester embedded with silver ions”, but I’m pretty sure it’s also treated with pixie dust and unicorn tears. Seriously, you won’t believe how much sweat this thing holds. It’s almost magical.
You may have noticed the yellow band in the picture to the left. That waterproof band is inside the cap just above the eyebrow line, and it does a remarkable job of preventing sweat from coming down the front of your face.
I wish I’d known about this product years ago, because it’s awesome. I’ll never ride without a Halo skull cap again, and I’ll also wear it when I’m outside doing yard work, washing the car, working out–pretty much any activity during which I perspire.
The Halo has easily earned a spot on my Favorite Things list.
So, about yesterday’s ride. Even though I had just achieved KOM bragging rights on the Gravity Destroyer up/down and Florida Flow Loop and the Mt. Dora with Blue segments, it was bugging me that I accidentally stopped for 20 seconds just before the end of the segment. I wanted to go back and correct that error, and improve my time.
It was interesting to watch my progress (Strava has this cool feature) compared to my original time. I basically was within a second or two of my original run the entire time. Pretty consistent.
I got to enjoy my KOM for a glorious eight hours. My arch nemesis, Mike Simmons, slayed the trail later that afternoon like an Ibis-riding grim reaper. I basically got my teeth kicked down my throat. Mike’s time was, in a word, shocking: 8m30s.
There looked to be some GPS weirdness going on when Mike rode, and somehow the Gravity Destroyer up/down and Florida Flow Loop didn’t match up. So I get to hang on to that KOM on a technicality… for now.
I’m not sure if this is the result of the GPS issues or what, but comparing my ride with Mike’s in real-time indicated that mike destroyed me on the initial short (~0.13 mile) downhill: he was 24 seconds ahead before we even hit the main loop. I noticed Mike spiked to a top speed of 35 MPH on that downhill section, so I think there was some GPS glitching going on there. Or I need to sack up. Probably both. I definitely need to practice that downhill more, as half the time Mike gained on me appears to have been on that very short section.
Mike, great job! You inspire me to improve my skills and become a better rider, and that’s why I think Strava is so cool.